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Chemical and biological weapons

International humanitarian law - Biological weapons

The international community banned the use of chemical and biological weapons after World War 1 and reinforced the ban in 1972 and 1993 by prohibiting the development, stockpiling and transfer of these weapons. Today’s advances in life sciences and biotechnology, aimed to benefit mankind, have increased concern that long-standing restraints on the use of chemical and biological weapons may be ignored or eroded. ... Read more

Publications More publications

  • Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response: Introductory guidance

    The ICRC might be required to undertake activities in locations where there is the potential for intentional or unintentional release of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) agents. In such situations, ICRC staff may be at risk of exposure to CBRN agents with potentially significant consequences for their health and safety, and for the ICRC’s ability to undertake field operations.

  • Nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical events

    Nuclear, radiological, biological or chemical (NRBC) events are actions or occurrences that may lead to the release and dispersal of hazardous materials in quantities and in circumstances that put individuals or groups at significant risk. This leaftet aims to raise awareness on basic measures to protect oneself and others in case of NRBC exposure.